The Distinguished Service Cross
) is the third level military decoration
A military decoration is a decoration given to military personnel or units for heroism in battle or distinguished service. They are designed to be worn on military uniform....
awarded to officers, and (since 1993) other ranks, of the British Armed Forces
The British Armed Forces are the armed forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.Also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces and sometimes legally the Armed Forces of the Crown, the British Armed Forces encompasses three professional uniformed services, the Royal Navy, the...
, Royal Fleet Auxiliary
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary is a civilian-manned fleet owned by the British Ministry of Defence. The RFA enables ships of the United Kingdom Royal Navy to maintain operations around the world. Its primary role is to supply the Royal Navy with fuel, ammunition and supplies, normally by replenishment...
and British Merchant Navy and formerly also to officers of other Commonwealth
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...
The DSC, which may be awarded posthumously, is granted in recognition of "... gallantry during active operations against the enemy at sea."
The award was originally created in 1901 as the Conspicuous Service Cross
, for award to warrant and junior officers ineligible for the DSO
The Distinguished Service Order is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the British Commonwealth and Empire, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat.Instituted on 6 September...
. It was renamed the Distinguished Service Cross in October 1914, eligibility being extended to all naval officers (commissioned and warrant) below the rank of Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander is a commissioned officer rank in many navies. The rank is superior to a lieutenant and subordinate to a commander...
. In 1931, the award was made available to members of the Merchant Navy and in 1940 eligibility was further extended to non-naval personnel (British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...
and Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...
) serving aboard a British vessel. Since the 1993 review of the honours system, as part of the drive to remove distinctions of rank in awards for bravery, the Distinguished Service Medal, formerly the third level decoration for ratings, has been discontinued. The DSC now serves as the third level award for gallantry at sea for all ranks.
Since 1916, bars have been awarded to the DSC in recognition of the performance of further acts of gallantry meriting the award. Recipients are entitled to the postnominal letters DSC.
Robert Peverell Hichens
Robert Peverell Hichens DSO & Bar, DSC & Two Bars was the most highly decorated officer of the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve , being awarded two Distinguished Service Orders, three Distinguished Service Crosses and three Mentions in Despatches...
, the most highly decorated member of the RNVR in the Second World War, was awarded the DSC and two Bars.
- This DSC is a plain silver cross with rounded edges. The obverse has a circular centre within which can be seen the Royal Cypher
In modern heraldry, a royal cypher is a monogram-like device of a country's reigning sovereign, typically consisting of the initials of the monarch's name and title, sometimes interwoven and often surmounted by a crown. In the case where such a cypher is used by an emperor or empress, it is called...
of the reigning monarch at the time of award. From 1940 year of issue has been engraved on lower limb of cross.
- The reverse is plain apart from the hallmark and the ribbon is attached via a metal ring.
- The ribbon has three equal stripes of dark blue, white and dark blue.
|Ribbon bars of the Distinguished Service Cross
DSC and Bar
DSC and Two Bars
:Category:Recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross (United Kingdom)
- British and Commonwealth orders and decorations